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Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1580233637
ISBN-10: 1580233635
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This potpourri of Jewish short stories and essays was diligently amassed for many years by Rabbi Elkins, author and anthologist. He begins his presentation with the mistaken claim that Jews are the original storytelling people, ignoring that in all societies, a significant way of transmitting culture from one generation to the next is through stories. The 69 stories presented represent Elkins's passion for uplifting stories. They come from a variety of sources, including books, newspaper articles and journals. The authors are, for the most part, rabbis, doctors, writers and teachers. Their work is sorted by Elkins into nine topical sections, each containing from five to nine stories as well as an introduction by him. Two sections deal with the Holocaust, while the others explore timeless virtues like goodness, hope, endurance, tradition and providence. A final section addresses Israel as a land of miracles. Although they are uneven in quality, the simply written stories testify eloquently to the Jewish capacity for survival despite the long litany of suffering that has dogged the tearful history of Jews through the ages. (Oct.)
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Review

"Lovely … Dov Peretz Elkins is a master at telling, re-telling and collecting beautiful Jewish tales. Everyone will enjoy and gain from these stories."
Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times best-selling author, Happy for No Reason; coauthor, Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul

“This magnificent collection … touches on the soul and secret of Jewish survival. Delves deeply into the very substance of our spirit as individuals and as a unique peoplehood. Essential reading for those who want to understand the Jewish spirit.”
Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, author, How We Die

“Encircles our hearts with vibrations of what it means to be truly human. I have hungered for such a collection and now I wallow in it!”
Sister Nancy Corcoran, CSJ, author, Secrets of Prayer: A Multifaith Guide to Creating Personal Prayer in Your Life

“Thinking 'I’ll just read one story in this book’ is like thinking ‘I’ll just eat one candy in this bowl.’ It isn’t possible. Each taste of piquancy and sweetness conditions the desire for more.”
Sylvia Boorstein, author, Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life

“Hasidic stories created models of virtue that inspired and opened hearts for transformation to hope and holy behavior. Professor Heschel spoke of them as ‘stories in which the soul surprises the mind.’ This book contains inspiring Hasidic stories in everyday contemporary clothes.”
Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi (z"l), author, Wrapped in a Holy Flame

“This is a lovely book…. These stories are like marrow to the soul. They send us life, and elevate our daily existence.”
Rabbi Karyn D. Kedar, author, The Bridge to Forgiveness: Stories and Prayers for Finding God and Restoring Wholeness

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights; 1 edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580233635
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580233637
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,323,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins is one of America's leading congregational rabbis, and is a prominent internationally-known speaker and author, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. Dr. Elkins is Rabbi Emeritus of The Jewish Center of Princeton, NJ. He co-authored Chicken Soup for the Jewish Soul, among his 35 books and hundreds of published articles. His most recent book is Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth (Jewish Lights). He has spoken and led training workshops for synagogues, Federations, JCCs and other Jewish organizations in North America, Europe and Israel. His books have been read by thousands throughout the world. He was a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly. He and his wife Maxine live in Princeton, NJ, and travel often to see their children and 9 grandchildren.

Dr. Elkins' web sites are www.JewishGrowth.org, www.WisdomofJudaism.org, and www.Eco-Judaism.org. His email address is DPE@JewishGrowth.org.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Combatboots on March 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul
Edited by Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins. Jewish Lights Publishing. ([...] 304 pp, Quality PB Original. $16.99. ISBN-13: 978-1-58023-363-7, ISBN-10: 1-58023-363-5

The glory and grief, humor and pride of the human experience--inspiration from a Jewish perspective, from exile to rebirth, from degradation to renaissance, the Jewish People has undergone every human experience and emotion that God created. In this inspiring collection of stories, award-winning anthologist Dov Peretz Elkins captures the best and worst of Jewish experience in these spine-tingling tales of courage, devotion, passion and extraordinary achievement.

Elkins taps the famous and the not-so-famous, world-renowned figures and the little-known "person next door," for stories that illustrate the wonder, meaning, and purpose of life as viewed through the lens of Judaism's core values. Though drawn from the Jewish tradition, these universal stories of kindness, hope, faith and discovery will intrigue the minds and warm the hearts of people from all walks of life.

Some of the story-authors include Elie Wiesel, Natan Sharansky, Peninnah Schram, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Jeff Jacoby, Roger Cohen, Hanoch Teller, Noam Zion, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Yithak Rabin, and many other famous and not famous story tellers.

Here are some of the endorsements by well-known authors:

"Lovely ... Dov Peretz Elkins is a master at telling, re-telling and collecting beautiful Jewish tales. Everyone will enjoy and gain from these stories."
--Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times bestselling author, Happy for No Reason; co-author, Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul

"This magnificent collection ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi John Rosove on November 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins' Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul does precisely that - nourish the heart and soul, and I recommend it highly to Jews, people of all faith traditions, atheists and agnostics, rebels and anyone who cherishes the human spirit. It is a collection of stories that Dov has collected in his journeys around the world over the last two decades. This, from his introduction, describes well the content and impact of this special volume:

"The tales told in this book emerge out of the Jewish tradition, but can undoubtedly be read and enjoyed by people of all faiths. They are Jewish, but also very human stories, universal in content and theme...

These...are not simply stories, not mere legends spun out of the mysterious minds of a talented muse. Rather, they are tales of courage, devotion, and passion: narratives of commitment to education, perseverance, piety and familial love, community solidarity, heroic behavior, and extraordinary achievement. They come from the muse of the famous, and the not so famous [Israeli Prime Ministers, rabbis, scholars, teachers, physicians, survivors, journalists, the elderly and the young]...

One cannot come away from reading these amazing chronicles of life at its heights and depths without experiencing a surge of pride in our Jewish heritage.

In these tales are the best and the worst of God's creations: people who are gentle, kind, compassionate, audacious, and heroic; and others who have tried to extinguish from the planet that glowing ember of spirituality called the Jewish People. You will be lifted to the highest mountaintop and plunged into the darkest abyss in the course of reading about the lives of people who are simply trying to eke out a living...
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Format: Paperback
The body needs food to live, the soul needs food to believe. "Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul" is a collection of stories from figures who speak on the Jewish soul to inspire and give readers something to believe in. The stories tackle the values that are invariably important to Jewish readers, making "Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul" a highly recommended collection for Jewish readers.
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By StaceyKelley on June 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
I savor the short stories for their messages, encouragement, positive upbeat meaning, and powerful emotional experiences. I love this little book.
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By John D. Lentz on October 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
These stories are warm, positive, constructive, instructive and inspiring. Thank you Rabbi Elkins for writing it.
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